A Short History of Desktop Operating Systems


At the beginning of this millennium, the PC/OS wars had practically ended. You used Windows everywhere. Only some companies like Mindfire, which worked on Apple Mac development, had any use for platform diversity. Everybody bought Wintel – because you had to. Software was made for Windows only in most cases, so being on anything else meant being unable to run most things you needed.

Then, several unexpected things happened.

First, Operating Systems. The OS landscape changed. Apple made a spectacular comeback, and working on a Macbook was cool again. Mac OS X flew high. And Ubuntu rose from the ashes of Unix and Linux fragmentation, unifying them and making a friendly Linux.

Second, the Internet. The web became dominant platform for app delivery. Functional software that looked grey and dull, was suddenly all over the colorful web. Chrome and Javascript/AJAX hastened user experience on browsers that rivaled native desktop software.

Third, Design. Or, the ascent of design. Apple led the charge, and the world of tech grew to appreciate design for what it was – the yin for its yang. And those dull grey apps died a quiet death.

Fourth, Consumers. Technology exploded from enterprise/business to the consumer setting. Revenue started skewing towards consumers – although that died an early death due to our next point.

Finally, Devices. In came the world of smartphones and tablets, which changed the meaning of computers. And led to the creation of cloud. And desktop platforms became just one out of many access points for the cloud. Which leads to the Internet of Things. Coming next.


All the above made desktop platforms a choice, since the world of computing was no longer restricted to the PC and OS you used. Today, consumers buy Mac systems and techies buy Ubuntu systems, without needing to think what they will not be able to do. Because they can do everything.

At Mindfire, we celebrate this victory of choice with a commitment to platform diversity. Mindfire is investing in Ubuntu and Macbook laptops, aiming to have at least 15% of our people on Macbooks, and 15% on Ubuntu.

Why is diversity important?

A rainbow is interesting only because it has all those colors.


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  • Pravasini Sahoo

    (y) very nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ansuman Sahu

    Diversity leads to overall success.

  • Each step will take us higher than where we are right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very nice step.

  • Vinoth Raj

    Just wondering why not bring in “diversity” within a developer.

    Software development is a fast-changing world. As technology becomes obsolete so are the respective skillsets acquired by the developer.

    Flex/flash is going to become a thing of past, desktop application development has already taken a nose dive, and so forth. But what has happened to those developers? Moreover, what do developers do when there are no projects in their specific technology. Just learn, sit, and wait for project. Couldn’t it be more productive to move to an area where projects gets flooded with? Certainly a ‘Yes’, provided that a developer has diversity in himself.

    So, a diversity within a developer can be brought in by working in different technology areas for short stints. This could, for instance, be achieved by shuffling small sect of people (when idle) on less risk-prone projects and thus allow him/her get hands-on experience in new technology. Moreover, every developer can be allowed to pick a secondary technology of his interest and excel on it. Nevertheless, what is more important here is the hands-on experience rather than just learning and exploring. So, it is just an idea to have experience in a secondary technology that can salvage one from technology uncertainties.

    • harsh wardhan

      Completely agree with you. (y)

  • jyothi kumar

    Unity in diversity is Indian philosophy.
    Unifying wisdom from diversified technology/products be Indian techie’s philosophy

  • Vinod Mohan

    Nice (y)

  • basantam

    Lots of people using Ubuntu in mindfire opensource team. ๐Ÿ™‚ Macbook is nice idea from windows to Mac. (y)

  • Chinmoy Panda

    Excellent thought Vinoth, everyone should think about it (y)

  • Hem Dutt

    Great thoughts Vinoth.
    I think we should seriously look to implement the idea in company.
    Sitting idle brings frustration. Every developer should master in atleast 2 areas.
    This can be achieved only through project experience.
    That way we can optimize our workforce and people will have high worth in market.

  • VG

    Totally agree with Vinoth thoughts..

    Why not bring diversity inside.

    Developer should get chance to lay their hands on other technology as well. Instead of sitting idle, developer can start with any small project on other tech area or may be work as an assistant to learn something new.

    Second thing I would like to add here is that, sometimes (in our case, most of the time :)) only one developer is assigned to a project. The developer (sitting idle) in the same team can work as a “Shadow Developer” (untill another project comes in). By this, we could have enormous advantages like,

    – More productivity.

    – No one sit idle.

    – Can explore more in his/her domain.

    – Better product.

    – Knowledge sharing (Obviously its between two people at first, but its like a chain).

    – And a lot…

    I agree with Hem, sitting idle brings frustration. We can read, we can learn, we can share, but if these things came into practice, we have the chance to Do More..

  • Ishan Kumar Saini

    Whoa (y) !! This should be implemented in every area of engineering, Like Testing ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!

  • Rashmi Panda

    completely agree with Vinoth, as per the changing technology rapidly we have to change our attitude to learn new tech and process in order to keep our momentum up.This will help company’s vision and mission with the help of this new generation